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CANNES-Dirt is just starting to move on what is being touted as the largest integrated urban development project in Europe. Russian asset manager Renova Stroygroup used the opening day of Mipim to formally unveil the 1300-ha project.

When the construction dust clears in 2025, the multi-phase project, located in the Sverdiovsk region of Russia, will boast some 4.2 million sm of non-residential real estate and a little more than nine million sm of housing for a total population targeted at 325,000 people. Plans also call for a 500,000-sm business center (this to be completed by 2010) and a logistics complex pacing out to 249,000 sm.

According to Renova president Veniamin Golubitsky, the project will be funded in phases through “specialized investors focused” on each segment of the build-out. A number of Russian banks are already on board, he went on to say, and in a private interview after the press conference, a spokesperson indicated that a variety of closed-end funds are also expected to back the deal. Despite the massive overall cost, “step-by-step, it’s very feasible,” Golubitsky added.

Details were sparse on the green aspects of the project, although Golubitsky promised that Akedemia City would be “highly energy efficient,” and he hoped the savings therein would help minimize potential investors’ sticker shock. The architect is Valode & Pistre.

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